Luther’s spiritual breakthrough from the darkness of legalism to the glory of the gospel came because he sought spiritual light in the Scriptures. The doctrine of Scripture Alone was implicit in his search for assurance. But as we trace the development of Luther’s thought, we see how his conviction of Scripture Alone enabled him to depart from the early church fathers when they didn’t agree with Scripture. In Luther’s life, then, we see a vivid illustration of what he meant by the expression “Scripture Alone.” Take Luther’s engagement with Augustine over the doctrine of justification, for example. Continue reading “Scripture Alone in the Life of Martin Luther: Augustine and the Doctrine of Justification”
I recently finished Matthew Barrett’s God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture. Even at 374 pages, it is a unique confluence of concision, breadth, and depth. I am grateful that God equips men with such theological skill and calls them to ply their craft for the benefit of the church. My heart resonates with Robert Yarbrough who, in his endorsement, called this book “a feast.”
For the last five decades, evangelicals have wrestled with the past and with one another over what constitutes a true evangelical doctrine of Scripture. Over the last seven years, I’ve had the privilege of studying some of this history and even wading into the present discussion, if only just a little. It’s become painfully clear that the disagreement among evangelicals over how to understand Scripture’s authority, inerrancy, inspiration, and clarity has only intensified the last two decades, and there is no immediate indication that the clamor of controversy will soon quiet to a din of discussion (present attempts at dialogue notwithstanding). Continue reading “Barrett’s ‘God’s Word Alone’ is a Must Read on the Doctrine of Scripture”
One of the reasons why Mormons look to revelation other than the Bible is because they believe—and assert in official LDS teaching—that the original content of the Bible has been corrupted over the centuries as the Scriptures have been passed down from generation to generation. Because of this alleged corruption, God’s revelation in the Bible had become tainted and is in need of corrective revelation. Alongside the Bible, Mormons receive The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants as authoritative Scripture.
My goal in this essay is not to examine and critique the claims of these “latter-day revelations” (others have ably handled this issue). Rather, I want to consider the accusation that the content of the Bible has been corrupted over time. If it can be shown that the Bible is wholly reliable and without textual corruption, the basis on which Mormons posit a need for new revelation is significantly undermined. Positively, a fresh look at the reliability of our Bibles can provide Christians with a renewed confidence that what they have in the Bible is the pure and sufficient word of God. Continue reading “Manuscripts and the Wisdom of God: A Brief Essay on the Transmission of the Bible”
Late in 2013 Zondervan released another installment in their Counterpoints series–this particular contribution offering different perspectives on the historicity of Adam. Since their inception several years ago, I have appreciated these multiple-view books. Although I usually come to and leave these books holding firmly to one of the views, I am always grateful to learn, first-hand, how proponents of different positions articulate and defend their views. I am also encouraged to think afresh about my convictions and presuppositions, and nuance my own position if necessary.
In the case of Four Views of The Historical Adam, I come to the discussion as a young-earth creationist who believes in an historical Adam.
In this review, I will discuss a few weaknesses in of each contributor’s argument and methodology. I will then discuss one major weakness that afflicted the book as a whole. Continue reading “Where's the (Philosophy of) Science? A Review of Four Views on The Historical Adam”
Kenton Sparks, professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University—an evangelical school by confession—has recently offered his contribution to an evangelical doctrine of Scripture in God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship (GWHW). As the title of the book suggests and as he states clearly in the introduction, Sparks situates himself within the evangelical tradition, so he approaches his work from a “profound appreciation” for evangelicalism’s “doctrinal commitment to the inerrancy of God’s Word” (22). But Sparks is concerned over evangelicalism’s approach to assessing and using critical biblical scholarship and he considers himself as one of several emerging evangelical scholars who find the “standard critical arguments” for problems in the Bible offered by modern academics far more satisfactory than those posited in most evangelical efforts (12). Continue reading “Review of God's Word in Human Words by Kenton Sparks”
God’s promise to uphold and protect His Word is a precious and reassuring promise. To observe how God has accomplished this throughout the ages is edifying and faith strengthening. The Journey from Texts to Translations by Paul D. Wegner is a meticulously researched and richly illustrated treatment of the Bible’s transmission and translation, from ancient manuscripts to popular English Bibles, showing us the practical means by which God has sovereignly guided the development of Scripture.